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BGU Researcher’s Peace Building Project Awarded USAID Grant of $760,000

BGU Researcher’s Peace Building Project Awarded USAID Grant of $760,000

September 26, 2011

Negev Development & Community Programs, Press Releases

BEER-SHEVA, Israel, September 26, 2011 — Prof. Alean al-Krenawi of the Charlotte B. and Jack J. Spitzer Department of Social Work at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has just been awarded a $760,160 three-year grant from USAID for his project “Building Peace through Knowledge: The Palestinian-Israeli Case.”

Unwilling to let people-to-people initiatives dwindle as hope for a speedy Israeli-Palestinian peace reconciliation fades, al-Krenawi will bring together 40 Israeli and Palestinian human service providers and educators, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, school counselors, principals and teachers, who all have intensive contact with the general populations of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“Human service professionals and educators in Israel and Palestine possess untapped potential to positively impact peace building and reconciliation in this most volatile region,” says al-Krenawi. 

“They have the potential to proliferate a message of understanding, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation.” Al-Krenawi is a former chair of the social work department and is himself a Bedouin from the Negev.

Over the course of the three years, each participant will share knowledge and explore ways to facilitate reconciliation and forgiveness between their communities. They will also teach the tools and techniques that are developed to others within their respective communities.

Al-Krenawi believes that the program will foster stronger ties between the human service professionals, which will better enable them to deal with the trauma and bereavement from the conflict while, at the same time, becoming ambassadors for peace.

USAID is the principal U.S. agency extending assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

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